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31.07.2008 13:52

Xavi, aiming for goal

David Saura (enviat especial)

After being chosen as best player in the Eurocopa 2008, Xavi went back to wearing the Barça shirt. He did so complying with Guardiola’s new demands: touch the ball in the offences space and in front of goal.

During these first few pre-season weeks there has been a lot of talk about Pep Guardiola’s tactical work and the modifications he wants to incorporate. On Wednesday in Florenced (1-3), one of these nuances could be seen clearly, with Xavi playing more advanced and in a more attacking role.

Playing in the opponents space

The player himself, back playing with Barça after the Eurocopa 2008, explained after the game: “Guardiola has told me not to fall back in defence as much. He wants us to have possession in the opposing half. It’s all about playing as far up field as possible”. To be more precise, the manager has asked him, according to the player, to fill in the intermittent positions in front of the central defenders, but closer to the strikers.

“I feel more comfortable”

entreno260708_x6x.jpgThe Barça number ‘6’, although not finding many substantial differences from Rijkaard’s style, is very happy with this tactical variation: “Up front I feel more comfortable.” He is convinced that “I can do more playing further up field.” In fact in these attacking positions Xavi stood out against Fiorentina and had a couple of chances, with shots from the edge of the box, before Puyol scored. On these occasions Touré and Keita covered the midfielder from Terrassa’s back.

New ways of seeing football

Xavi Hernández realizes that “when there is a change of manager, things change” and doesn’t hide the fact that Pep Guardiola “wants tactical variations and we’re working on them”. In fact, during the days they were in Scotland it wasn’t strange to see them both talking about these aspects on the training ground. Despite everything, it is clear to him that “we are still adapting” and he reminds us of the importance of the physical aspect in this first stage of the season.
Xavi, aiming for goal

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